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Aurora Audio in Anchorage Alaska
Old 12th July 2015
  #1
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Aurora Audio in Anchorage Alaska

Hello all

I have worked out of bedroom and closets, professional studios and sheds and after moving to Anchorage Alaska and buying our current home I had the chance to build a professional level private studio in a large room under my garage. I have done construction in the past (a lot actually) so that part did not scare me, however I wanted to have the chance to own and work in rooms that helped me in recording and mixing rather that fought me on it. I also wanted to have rooms that I could work in with clients and not have to worry too much about my family being disturbed.

I hired John Brandt to design the studio after reading a lot of threads here and pouring over his website. I will say this, John has been a dream to work with. He is very understanding quick with communication and soooo helpful in the process I won't hesitate to hire him again when we move some day.

If you are looking at building a studio in your house or in a commercial space I can't emphasize the importance of hiring John or someone like him. The results you will get if you follow their direction is nothing short of amazing. They will come up with solutions that you would never think to make your studio the best it could possibly be...

At this point I'm 95% done with just some of the finer details of trim and a couple of diffusers to build still.

Here are some before pictures
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Old 12th July 2015
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Demolition begins...
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Old 12th July 2015
  #3
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Once everything was torn out the rebuild began!
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Old 12th July 2015
  #4
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It was about at this stage that a client I had been working with toward a project called me to let me know that he had booked tickets for his band to come up and record in a few weeks. I asked him several times to look into another studio but options here are um "limited" shall we say. I told him it wouldn't be pretty but I would do what I could to record him here...

In hindsight I would have just said no I can't produce and record your record at all now. Live and learn

Insulation has been, is and always will be my least favorite part of building...
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Old 12th July 2015
  #5
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I carried 88 or 89 sheets of 4'x8' 5/8" sheet rock down a flight of stairs into basement but knowing I was one big step closer to completion and also knowing I had a band flying in to record in a few days kept me going... Plus I love nothing better than to cover insulation up!
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Old 12th July 2015
  #6
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I hung a door on the ISO room slapped some weather stripping on it and started grabbing my equipment from storage to record a band.... They showed up just as I was placing some temp acoustic treatment in the iso room for drums. If I live a long long long life and don't have to do that again I will die a happy man.

Guerrilla recording at its finest...
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Old 12th July 2015
  #7
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After a long time of completing a backlog of projects in the studio and trying to get little bits of work done on the studio in-between (I don't recommend this EVER) I was finally able to start the acoustics plan from John. I was already pretty excited about the isolation I was getting and I couldn't wait to hear the rooms when I finally was able to implement the plans that John had come up with!

This is the control room
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Old 12th July 2015
  #8
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Here is the control room as it sits currently. I still have to build a PRD diffuser for the back wall and a space coupler for over the mix position
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 12th July 2015
  #9
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At this point I again had a bit of a back log of work so I took a few months to focus on getting caught up for my clients. The control room looks amazing but most importantly it sounds amazing. The mix position has sharp imaging and seems to be very even. I haven't done any tests yet and won't until I finish it but I can say already that this room is one of if not the best I have worked in. I have spent almost no time learning the room for my mixes to translate. Everything I hear on the Opals is very true to anywhere else I have played it! This is where again I cannot recommend John Brandt highly enough!!!

This control room is easily comparable to any of the million dollar rooms I have worked in before. Considering this is beneath my garage and not a large space that is really saying something!

I also was able to start picking up some new gear...
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Old 12th July 2015
  #10
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After about one year I was finally caught up enough and had a stretch of no recording so I could pull everything out of the ISO room and start the acoustics plan in there...

I forgot how truly awful small rooms sound...
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Old 12th July 2015
  #11
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Finally! what a long crazy road it has been so far.

I still have the trim work to do but that is easy compared to what has been done already!

I have been tracking in the newly completed room and it sounds fantastic! everything I have put in there sounds great (provided the source is great). The room has a very even response with a really really really nice smooth sparkle in the high end. The low end is really even and tight which is no small accomplishment for such a small room. All of that is due to the excellent skills of one Mr John Brandt.

I will be getting some really good high quality pictures taken by a real photographer as soon as I finish the trim, diffusers and doors. When that's done I'll post them up for you all to see. I also will be testing the rooms when everything is done to see what the actual response looks like, but from working in them I can tell you, I am beyond thrilled.
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Old 12th July 2015
  #12
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Wow, that escalated quickly! Very nice job youยดve done! Good Luck
Old 12th July 2015
  #13
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Nice work! I love Anchorage and work there for a month or so out of the year doing shows at the performing arts center downtown.
Old 13th July 2015 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veredas View Post
Wow, that escalated quickly! Very nice job youยดve done! Good Luck
Seems that way doesn't it. This took about 19 months so far I just didn't post until now...
Old 13th July 2015 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perelandra05 View Post
Nice work! I love Anchorage and work there for a month or so out of the year doing shows at the performing arts center downtown.
Oh nice! I catch shows/concerts there from time to time. What time of year do you usually make it up here?
Old 13th July 2015 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakesloan View Post
Oh nice! I catch shows/concerts there from time to time. What time of year do you usually make it up here?
I'm up in October for My Fair Lady, then back in the Spring for another show. Looking to stay over and head down to either Kenai or head into the mountains to go snowboarding.
Old 14th July 2015
  #17
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This is awesome!! Very inspiring. What was the overall size of the space you started with and what are the room dimensions now?
Old 16th July 2015
  #18
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A few questions for you..

1. How many layers of drywall did you do?
2. Did you use Green Glue or something else between the layers (assuming you did more than one layer).
3. The dark colored insulation is interesting. Down here in WA State we get Roxul brand rockwool but can't find anything that looks like what you are using. What type of insulation is that?
4. How did you find such nice looking lumber? I spent about 10 grand on lumber for my build and none of it looked as nice as what you are using!
Old 16th July 2015
  #19
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Beautiful!!!

Just curious - you mention building a "space coupler" for over the mix position. What is that? Will that be something like a typical cloud?
Old 16th July 2015 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffLancaster View Post
Beautiful!!!

Just curious - you mention building a "space coupler" for over the mix position. What is that? Will that be something like a typical cloud?
Might be the Auralex space coupler, 2' by 2' open grid kinda thing...
Old 16th July 2015 | Show parent
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoxxx View Post
A few questions for you..

1. How many layers of drywall did you do?
2. Did you use Green Glue or something else between the layers (assuming you did more than one layer).
3. The dark colored insulation is interesting. Down here in WA State we get Roxul brand rockwool but can't find anything that looks like what you are using. What type of insulation is that?
4. How did you find such nice looking lumber? I spent about 10 grand on lumber for my build and none of it looked as nice as what you are using!
I did two layers 5/8" everywhere. In my situation there was no appreciable benefit for adding anymore.

I did not use green glue for a couple reasons. There wasn't a large enough benefit for me in my situation mainly due to the time I will be in this space. 3-5 years maybe less. After that I will be opening up a different space in a more commercial location.

The dark colored insulation is r19, r21 or r38 Eco batts fiberglass. Just the stuff you would put in the walls. I did not use any rock wool here. Regular insulation and some john manville Is-300 (703 equivalent)

The lumber is just what my local lowes/Home Depot carries however since I am close the the Pacific Northwest we generally get Douglas fir lumber which is very good quality. When I lived in the Midwest all I ever found was pine and not nearly as good quality.

When I get ready to move into a different location I intend on going 110% on my build. This build had several challenges of being in a townhouse so there is a three leaf wall that was unavoidable. So there were a few compromises in my build that I felt were acceptable for me and my current work. In the future I'll be building from the ground up and will be able to build with a studio/acoustics in mind from the ground up!


I hope that helps!

Last edited by jakesloan; 16th July 2015 at 08:29 PM..
Old 16th July 2015 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colliderman View Post
This is awesome!! Very inspiring. What was the overall size of the space you started with and what are the room dimensions now?
I started with the space of a 2 car garage ~500 sq FTish. The rooms are now smaller by the thickness of double 2x4 walls and acoustic panels.

Last edited by jakesloan; 16th July 2015 at 08:45 PM..
Old 16th July 2015 | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffLancaster View Post
Beautiful!!!

Just curious - you mention building a "space coupler" for over the mix position. What is that? Will that be something like a typical cloud?
The design of the space coupler/diffuser is something Mr Brandt sent me. It is similar looking to this and I would imagine does the same thing though the specific dimensions John gave me are different from this.

Auralex Acoustics | Sustain Lensโ„ข

Just much less expensive for me to build myself especially with shipping costs to Alaska!
Old 18th November 2019
  #24
I know it's been a long time but do you happen to have any of the test data from this build?
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